Oh September, how I have missed you and your delightful adventures. I must admit that I believe Catherynne Valente has created one of the best series I have read in a long time with this one. This book picks up a year after The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. September has gotten a bit older and a bit wiser and she is no longer the completely heartless child she once was. She is now 13 and everyone knows your heart starts to grow when you are a teenager. So September thinks about things a little more and she feels for people a little more. But she is still herself and still yearns for the adventures she had in Fairyland and the friends she left behind.
So September finds her way back to Fairyland and it isn’t as she left it. There are problems there of her creation. She vanquished the Marquess and left a power vacuum in her place. So September must travel beneath Fairyland to restore the magic to the world. There she discovers a world of shadows. She finds her own shadow and the shadows of her friends. But shadows are not like us; they are our wilder more heartless selves and September’s shadow, Halloween, is no different. She rules Fairyland Below and is stealing the shadows from above. September must restore the shadows before the worlds collapse.
I think this book is just as charming and wonderful as the last, but it is a bit different. September is a little more mature and the book deals with more mature issues like forgiveness and first kisses. It might not be as whimsical but it is just as dark and wonderful. I love that September is getting older and more mature. I love that she has to stop and think about things now instead of just rushing in. But I also love that September hasn’t changed that much in the year and is still the same girl who longs for adventure and friendships. She is a proper heroine and one I could definitely read more about.